Opalesque Exclusive: 2010 hiring trends - the hybrid resume

From Kirsten Bischoff, Opalesque New York:

While hiring came to a standstill (except at the most senior levels) during 2008 and much of 2009, 2010 can be described as a return to normalcy. Even better, many anticipate that 2011 will begin a period of growth and there will be more available positions across all areas of the industry.

This growth means more firms are back to using specialist recruiters. “Overall companies found out the hard way that a successful recruiters’ ability to hunt mid- to senior-level managers is not a skill that can easily be matched,” says Daniel Golyanov, Director at Carbon360. However, he cautions that the return to using recruiters still requires a certain amount of research on the part of employers. “There are no barriers to entry in recruiting, and firms looking to hire recruiters to fill specific spots need to research recruiters’ track record, experience and depth of industry knowledge.”

A number of recruitment firms recently shared their insight to the current hiring environment with Carbon360, which has just published its report,“Investment Fund Employment Trends in 2010”.

Materials – presenting yourself as someone who delivers value
Those who work in the hedge fund industry seem to be genetically encoded with the ability to find “an edge” in every situation. Funds looking for new hires want to have an edge in securing the best talent, and fund employees on the hunt for a new job want to have an edge in securing the best positions. In such a landscape, there is little room for mistakes on either side. However, very often when it comes to the simplest part of a job search – the part candidates have the most control over such as their presentation materials (resume, cover letter, recommendations, etc) - they don’t give themselves the opportunity to secure the “edge”.

Surprisingly, 60% of recruiters no longer place a very high level of importance on a cover letter in a candidate’s materials. However, impressive resumes rank only second to personal referrals in the importance of getting a recruiters attention.

John Breault of U.S.-based recruiting firm Breault & Smith explained to Opalesque that these days the cover letter is typically the email that a resume is attached to. While not nearly as formal as cover letters used to be, it does give a candidate a brief opportunity to add a layer of insight into their overall career progression and express positive interest in a job. “This is where a candidate can briefly highlight their current achievements, things that are important to the potential employer for the position,” says Breault.

Breault typically suggests a more hybrid approach to resume writing, one that combines the prose previously saved only for cover letters with bulleted points. He suggests that for each position on a resume, a candidate includes 2-3 sentence summary about both the firm and the responsibilities of that job. Then, below in a bulleted list he suggests highlighting “quantifiable achievements” rather than simply listing responsibilities. This allows you to present yourself as someone who can deliver value rather than someone who simply responds to a list of responsibilities.

“If you include a 2-3 sentence summary of the company and your position in it, followed by bullet points of quantifiable achievements then you are giving evidence of what you bring to a company,” he says. Or, for that matter, it allows you to present what edge you will give a firm.

See here for article on Opalesque website: http://www.opalesque.com/61312/breault/2010_hiring_trends_the_hybrid_resume512.html